Transformation is a beautiful thing and my shiny outdated chandelier finally went from garish gold to an understated antique white. It’s an easy weekend project that’s easy to pull off regardless of your comfort level with all things hands-on.
I love a well decorated home but things that are aesthetically pleasing are not always a budget priority. Years ago, I ended up with a hand-me-down chandelier that was perfectly functional but of that too-shiny-metallic-finish variety. I wasn’t thrilled about it but it did the job and I couldn’t quite justify replacing it. I have, however, finally decided to make it a little less ugly and since I wasn’t particularly attached to it, this was a DIY project that was a very low risk. If it didn’t turn out, oh well. I didn’t like that chandelier anyway.
Armed with two cans of matte white spray paint, a roll of masking tape, a piece of plastic and, of course, my old chandelier, I descended on my parents’ backyard and got down to business. You really want to do this in an open space and a safe distance away from anything that can’t use a coat of wind-blown spray paint. Cover the ground with some plastic or paper and weigh it down so the wind doesn’t blow the edges over your freshly painted masterpiece and ruin all your hard work. The next step is very important: make sure you tape over all the electrical sockets to make sure you don’t get any paint on them. The tape needs to be removable so you can take it off later without leaving any bits behind.
Next, spread the chandelier pieces on your work surface and get spraying in the direction of the wind. You want to spray evenly from a couple of feet away so you get a nice, even coat without any gloopy spots. Don’t linger on any one area. If you missed a spot, you can get it on the next go.
You’ll need a couple of coats, so don’t worry if there is some yellow peeping through after your first go. Let the paint dry completely and spray paint everything a second time, now making sure there aren’t any spots you missed. Be sure to get both sides and leave everything to dry thoroughly before moving. I found that suspending the main piece from a tree branch allowed to to dry perfectly without messing up the paint job. Just make sure it’s secure and away from any leaves or small branches that could touch it.
This wasn’t a terribly important project for me, so I opted for the simplest spray paint there is, knowing that it would scratch off easily because of the chandelier’s glossy metallic finish. However, as I was going for a bit of an antique look and wasn’t really anticipating much movement after I got the chandelier back home, I was perfectly ok with a few scratches. If you want to make sure the paint does not come off, you’re going to have to do a little extra work. Sand your chandelier down a little and get a special primer paint meant for a metallic finish. It exists, I just wasn’t looking to spend the extra money on a feature that wasn’t important to me.
Once all the chandelier pieces are dry, hang it back up without killing yourself (if you’re not so good with basic electrical work involved in putting up a light fixture, get someone to help you who is qualified to do so). This isn’t rocket science and an important skill to know but if you’ve never done it before, it helps having someone on hand to show you the ropes the first time you do it. If all else fails, YouTube tutorials are a gold mine.
Let there be (less visually offensive) light!